There doesn’t seem to be any heavy duty processing going on to boost motion reproduction, but the set does, slightly surprisingly, have 2D to 3D conversion for those of you who just can’t get enough 3D content from genuine 3D sources.
Picture adjustments within the set’s passably presented menus aren’t particularly extensive. But there are a few things of note, including separate dynamic contrast and backlight controls, a variable noise reduction routine, a selection of picture presets, a simple colour shift bar that allows you to influence the balance of the image’s red and green elements, and finally a True Black setting for the HDMI inputs that really does boost the image’s black level response.
It’s probably a good job there aren’t too many tweaks to get your teeth into with the 42F7010, for the remote Finlux provides with the set really isn’t helpful at all. It looks very impressive, with its exceptional length, surprisingly glossy finish and spacious button layout. Our eye was caught, too, by a startling bulge near its centre upon which are mounted the ‘OK’ and up/down/left/right navigation controls. Emphasising such key buttons seems a great move on paper. But unfortunately actually trying to use the buttons on the bulge proves a rather unpleasant experience, especially when it comes to the ‘pinching’ left and right arrows.
Starting the evaluation stage of this review with 3D, the 42F7010 impresses and disappoints all at the same time. On the upside, pictures are extremely dynamic – colourful and bright. In fact, colours look more natural in 3D mode than they do in 2D mode, to be honest.
As well as proving that the panel has the core brightness to handle 3D and its glasses, the punchiness of the 42F7010’s 3D pictures also means you can fully appreciate passive 3D’s advantage of not suffering with the flickering effect you can get with active 3D systems.
Perhaps the most surprising plus point of the 42F7010’s 3D images given the TV’s relative affordability is how sharp 3D Blu-rays are capable of looking. Sure, you can see some slight jaggedness to bright contoured edges and occasionally horizontal line structure over some parts of 3D images, but such moments are rare and seldom distracting. This underlines thoughts raised in previous 3D TV reviews that passive 3D works particularly well on relatively small screens like this 42in one.
The disappointments with the 42F7010’s 3D efforts concern crosstalk and motion handling. Proponents of passive 3D always like to suggest that it’s a ‘crosstalk-free’ experience, but you don’t have to be an experienced TV reviewer to clearly and routinely see sometimes quite overt amounts of the familiar double ghosting noise around objects in the middle and far distance.
This issue goes into overdrive if you try and watch from a vertical viewing angle of more than around 12 degrees above or below the screen. But that’s true of all other passive 3D TVs too. It’s the crosstalk visible even from a ‘correct’ viewing position that bothers us – and underlines our growing belief that passive 3D is only crosstalk-free if the panel at the TV’s heart is of a pretty good quality, especially where native response time is concerned.
When it comes to motion, the 42F7010 suffers quite a lot with judder when viewing 3D. This is especially apparent during camera pans, but it can also be seen when objects pass across the screen at any sort of speed. This again isn’t an uncommon phenomenon with 3D TVs, but it its particularly aggressive on the 42F7010, causing 3D pictures to lose their sense of crispness and making them look a bit unnatural and thus distracting.